Mutual Aid Across County Lines

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Linda Schroeder is an integral part of the Oconee Area Resource Council, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit providing food for families in need year-round, in addition to offering mentoring services to K-12 students throughout Oconee County. In Linda’s words, “We are one full time and two half time staffers. We have a good number of volunteers and a supportive board, and that’s how we are able to get a lot done.”

Linda’s serendipitous email last week couldn’t have been more timely, as the process of organizing this summer’s books had just begun. She offered to donate a large collection of used children’s books already sorted by by age, which will save a significant amount of energy when it’s time to load up the Bibliobike in a few weeks. It took two trips to transport the collection, which now occupies a considerable amount of space at the house.

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Many thanks to Linda for reaching out, and to everyone else working to help folks in need. When we commit to the well-being of others, it’s curious how quickly compassion spreads.

 

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Classroom Library

Protected from winter elements, the rig’s now a curious part of our classroom library (the most frequented section by this year’s crew of graphica fanatics), where it houses a growing collection of graphic novels, comics, zines and DIY books.

Thanks again to everyone for contributing time and money, and to those who continue donating books for next summer’s deliveries. Please keep them coming.

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Detours

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As the temperature climbs and more and more water is required to replenish ounces lost en route, I wonder how much weight I’m hauling every time I pass this sign at a moving and storage company on Old Jefferson River Road.

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Making good time on the way to Amethyst and Elkview, I pedal onto the scale. When a man in a baseball cap and beige cargo shorts steps out to greet me, I ask how sensitive the scale is, and whether or not it would work for the Bibliobike. He says it’s accurate within twenty pounds, “So it should.” He walks back inside. When he returns, he says, “Including you, a total of four hundred pounds.” No wonder.

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On the way back, I stop and forage.

Conversations About Books

Here’s a flyer that will be distributed to families during Bibliobike visits for the duration of the summer (thanks again to Tobie Bass for translation help).

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Conversations About Books

During reading or after reading a book, it is important for an adult (or older child) to talk with the child about the book.  Below are some examples of questions to use during a conversation about a book.  Children should try to answer in complete sentences.

 

Adult:  What is this book about?

Child:  This book is about…

 

Adult:  What did you like about this book?

Child:  I liked…

 

Adult:  Why did this (event) happen in the book?

Child:  That happened because…

 

Adult:  What will happen after that?

Child: After that,…

 

Adult:  How do you know what happened?

Child:  I know what happened because…

 

Adult:  Why did the character behave like that?

Child:  The character behaved like that because…

 

Adult:  What would you have done?

Child:  I would have…

 

Adult:  Did you ever do something like that?

Child:  I did something similar when…

Or, I never did anything like that.

 

Adult:  How did it make you feel?

Child:  It made me feel…

 

Adult:  How would you feel if that happened to you?

Child:  If that happened to me, I would feel…

 

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Conversaciones Sobre Los Libros

 Mientras o después de leer un libro, es importante que un adulto (o niño más grande) hable con el niño sobre el libro.  Abajo hay unos ejemplos de preguntas para usar durante una conversación sobre un libro.  Los niños deben tratar de contestar en frases completas.

 

Adulto:  ¿De qué se trata este libro?

Niño:  Este libro se trata de…

 

Adulto:  ¿Qué te gustó de este libro?

Niño:  Me gustó…

 

Adulto:  ¿Por qué pasó (un evento) en el libro?

Niño:  Pasó porque…

 

Adulto:  ¿Qué sucederá después?

Niño:  Después…

 

Adulto:  ¿Cómo podrías saber qué pasó?

Niño:  Yo sé qué pasó porque…

 

Adulto:  ¿Por qué el personaje se comportó en esa forma?

Niño:  El personaje se comportó en esa forma porque…

 

Adulto:  ¿Qué hubieras hecho?

Niño:  Yo hubiera…

 

Adulto:  ¿Alguna vez hiciste algo parecido?

Niño:  Hice algo parecido cuando…

o (Nunca hice algo así.)

 

Adulto:  ¿Cómo te hizo sentir?

Niño:  Me hizo sentir…

 

Adulto:  ¿Cómo te haría sentir si a tí te hubiera pasado…?

Niño:  Si eso me pasara a mi, me haría sentir…

 

Park Place

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If it wasn’t July in Georgia, the granite boulders scattered around this shaded spot at Park Place Apartments would be ideal places for folks to sit and read. Temperature and humidity likely contributed to last Thursday’s low turnout. (I passed the time with Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation, a little summertime science fiction.) Only three kids walked away with books, but I connected with a couple families.

A neighbor told the first visitor that I teach third grade at Chase Street. Her son happens to be a rising third grader who’s been living in another state. She said he’ll visit Athens next week, so I gave her my contact information, as well as our principal’s, so she can arrange a tour. I look forward to meeting him when I return next week. A familiar face at a new school eases some of the stress for a new student.

The first young reader to browse last Thursday will also be a third grader at Chase next year. His dad chose a bilingual (Spanish and English) phrase book, and his son selected one on rocks and minerals so he can preview some third grade science content. They asked if I’d be back next week, so hopefully they’ll spread the word.

Amethyst and Elkview

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Compared to the ride to Kathwood, pedaling to the corner of Amethyst and Elkview was twice as far, much hotter and more uphill. Anticipating said challenges, I brought an insulated bag with freezer packs and frozen washcloths to cool down, and a double insulated water bottle that keeps ice frozen when the heat index surpasses one hundred degrees.

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Situated among a series of duplexes many former students call home, a concrete slab offers a fairly flat parking spot. It took a bit for folks to brave the heat, so at first I worried nobody would show. I was wrong.

Sixteen people visited, including parents and grandparents who selected books for young family members. For his granddaughter, one man chose The Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellers, a graphic novel about archeologist Isabel Soto’s adventures while exploring Colorado’s Cliff Palace ruins. When a curious mom emerged from her home, she walked over and chose a book about animals with vibrant illustrations for her eight week old daughter.

 

Sisters took younger siblings by the hand and helped them choose. While one middle schooler’s little brother browsed, she said, “I was a Tree Frog. I went to Chase from pre-K through fifth grade. It’s a great school.” She asked about former teachers, and we chatted about favorites like Mr. Sugiuchi and Mrs. Dean, who still teach there.

Kids frequently request specific titles and topics. One of the first was from a young reader who I recognized as a writer because she was wearing a Camp Red Clay t-shirt.

“What types of books have you read in the past year?” I asked.

“Some about mental illness. And poetry too.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any books on either topic, so she selected My Name is Celia, a bilingual picture book about Celia Cruz, and a chapter book called The Rescue, about a dog whisperer.

Other kids requested mysteries, Harry Potter, and Roald Dahl. So once home, I searched through bags and boxes of donated books, and found two titles from the Harry Potter series, and Dahl’s The Magic Finger (a personal favorite). For the girl interested in poetry and mental illness, I found Who Was Edgar Allen Poe, and a book of poetry I’ve shared with students over the years called Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. As for mental illness, the DSM 5 might be a rabbit hole too advanced for a fifteen year old. If any of you have suggestions for books about mental illness geared toward children, please let me know.

I’ll return to Amethyst and Elkview next Tuesday at five with a handful of requested books. Hopefully some of the same readers will join me again.